Never too cold for oysters

Published 9:50 pm Monday, November 13, 2017

Now that November has turned into Novem-brrr, most of us have pretty much given up on outdoor plans that entail much beyond getting from the car to the house and vice-versa. As temperatures dropped into the 20s over the weekend, just about anyone who had hoped to postpone turning on the heat until December found the battle well and truly lost.

In the midst of the cold snap, though, some of the hardiest noshers we know bundled up for the last big foodie fling of the year in Suffolk — the C.E.&H. Ruritan Club’s annual oyster roast.

Given Virginia’s fickle weather, there was always the possibility that the day’s temperatures could have been such that shorts and T-shirts were appropriate for the afternoon event. Even though the Caribbean vibe was not to be, oyster lovers were not to be deterred by a little early-season cold snap, especially as the club’s roast marks the end of a string of such events in Suffolk for the year.

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Hoodies, jackets and beanies were the dress of the day, and — if you could handle the oyster-smoke, the best spots on the site were near the grills or at the controls of wheelbarrows heaped full of steaming oysters.

In other words, working this event — which, anyway, is never a terrible job for the Ruritan volunteers — might very well have been the best way to enjoy it on this cold Saturday.

Organizers estimate that the roast raised $15,000 from the 600 people who turned out to crack into the steaming bivalves. On Saturday, especially, that was counted as cold, hard cash. But it will be used to warm the hearts of people in the community — families that will benefit from the Ruritans’ generosity at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and all of those who have come to love and expect the Fourth of July fireworks the club sponsors each year.

We’re sorry to see the cold weather hit with such a vengeance so early in the season, but we’re glad the Ruritans and their guests this weekend didn’t let it freeze their plans. This oyster roast is always one of the best-loved events of the year in Suffolk, and it’s easy to see why.